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Ben drops into a legal drama as we get a new hologram in latest ‘Quantum Leap’
They're mixing things up as Quantum Leap heads toward its Season 1 finale.
NBC’s revival of Quantum Leap continues to navigate its way through remixing the OG formula and finding ways to put a fresh spin on the classics that worked so well in the original series. Next up? The tried and true courtroom drama.
The latest installment of Quantum Leap, “Ben Song for the Defense,” finds Ben dropping into the life of an overworked public defender who has to find a way to win her latest case — or risk ruining an entire family’s legacy in the process.
Camilo Diaz, a bright 18-year-old trying to stop his younger brother from joining a street gang, is accused of murdering the gang member who was trying to recruit his younger brother. There’s no real evidence tying him to the murder, apart from being in the wrong place at the wrong time, though that doesn't stop the shady district attorney from trying to railroad Camilo into taking a plea deal — even though he, y’know, didn’t actually commit the murder.
Ben is a smart guy, but finds himself in over his head when it comes to dealing with the court system and trying to come up with a workable defense. So Addison trades in her hologram gig for Jenn, the Quantum Leap head of security (who got her start as a hacker). Jenn has plenty of experience going through the justice system as the accused, and spent some of her time in prison getting a law degree herself, so she knows enough to help Ben navigate the lingo.
Seeing how Jenn handles the hologram role differently compared to Addison is an incredibly fun ride. Ben has another client who can’t make his bail, so Jenn pulls a Marty McFly and checks the horse races on that day. Put $50 on this one, and wham bam, you’re guaranteed to clear the $5,000 needed to cover that bail. Need some intel? Jenn is the little voice on Ben’s shoulder telling him to just peek at the case files of the prosecution. After a season of seeing the chemistry evolve between Ben and Addison, it was a fun change of pace to have Jenn find her own (admittedly shadier) ways to solve these problems.
Though the case is a hard one to prove, Ben and the team use future intel to realize the corrupt district attorney purposefully left a witness’ name off the evidence list. When pressed on it, it's revealed that he altered the evidence to cover it up. So the team uses that future intel a bit more to find the murder weapon years earlier than in the original timeline, and uses the ballistics to prove it wasn’t Camilo who committed the murder.
In a classic Quantum Leap twist, as the DA’s case starts to fall apart, he offers Ben’s client a better deal — which Ziggy says would actually check enough boxes to right the timeline and allow Ben to leap. Instead of a decade in prison, Camilo would get only four years behind bars. That proves short enough to save his brother from the gang life, and rebuild his family’s life away from that trouble. But it would’ve come at the cost of four years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit in the first place. So, Ben rolls the dice and takes the case to trial to prove Camilo’s innocence. Thankfully, Ben’s a good talker, and makes his case and clears Camilo’s name for good.
Ben also salvages the public defender’s romantic relationship with an (innocent) assistant district attorney who is fired when Ben starts to unravel the cover-up. After she’s fired, she digs into some other cases and finds a whole lot more corruption, which proves more than enough to take the district attorney down for good. Relationship saved, careers saved, and most importantly Camilo’s family is saved.
Quantum Leap notes
Though Ben didn’t recognize or remember Jenn when she shows up as a hologram, her terrible retelling of a classic Magic story does jog Ben’s memory enough that he remembers Magic! That also wins Magic $20, as they had a betting pool going on who Ben would remember next.
After Leaper X (sorry, I owe a dollar to the jar), aka Martinez, showed up in Ben’s last leap, Ian and Ziggy come up with a program that should be able to identify Martinez if he crosses paths with Ben on any future leaps. So now, they’ll at least have a warning a rogue leaper is messing around in the timeline, too.
Seeing Jenn get emotional about seeing first hand the impact the Quantum Leap Project can have in a person’s life is a sweet moment. She also did a great job as a hologram — hopefully that’s not the last time we see her in the imaging chamber.
Ben’s next leap lands him in a man being examined for mental illness, at least it seems that way? It’s hard to discern the date, but it looks like a very 1950s or 1960s kind of vibe. Best guess? Ben is dropping into a mental hospital in an era where mental health treatment was not exactly all that … healthy.